Horsecross Arts has announced the appointment of Mike Griffiths as interim chief executive.

He takes over from Gwilym Gibbons who is leaving the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre at the end of February to take up the role of chief executive of The Crichton Trust in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mike Griffiths, who recently finished working as interim CEO at Eden Court Theatre & Cinema, has worked extensively in the arts in Scotland, as administrator, producer and project manager. He has over 30 years’ experience across many organisations including Northern Stage, Almeida Theatre, Scottish Opera and Citizens Theatre.

His appointment comes as Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre enjoy a bumper season of ticket sales with October to December sales up 37% on the same period last year. The hike in sales includes Perth Theatre pantomime Aladdin which was the best performing panto since previous top-seller Cinderella in 2013 (which had 9 more performances) with ticket income up 12% on last year’s Dick McWhittington.

Handing over to Mike Griffiths who joins the organisation on Monday 19 March, outgoing chief executive Gwilym Gibbons said:

“It really has been an exceptional period of ticket sales for Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, and the New Year has continued in the same vein with attendances up and sell out shows – including some in the new theatre spaces. Customers have been spending more in our cafes with both venues enjoying busy lunch and dinner periods. This all impacts significantly on the local economy.”

“The reopening of Perth Theatre in November 2017 has played a large part in this success as Perth Concert Hall was able to stage more shows in the latter part of the year than in recent years as it was committed to staging Perth’s panto. I am happy to confirm that the venues have seen new audiences come in as news of the theatre reopening spread, rather than seeing Perth Concert Hall attenders split over two venues.

“It has been a real privilege to work with such a dedicated, passionate and skilled team of staff and Board Members at Horsecross Arts over the past 3 years. I‘m sure the warm welcome I received both within the organisation and from the wider community will be extended to Mike as he takes up the reins to lead the organisation through its next exciting phase of development. I have met some truly lovely people during my time here, new colleagues have become new friends and I wish them and Mike all the best for the future, may you enjoy many more standing ovations.”

Magnus Linklater, chair of Horsecross Arts said:

"We are delighted that Mike Griffiths is joining us at Horsecross, at an exciting time in the development of the Concert Hall and our new Perth Theatre. He brings with him an impressive range of experience of the arts in Scotland and has demonstrated a strong track record in working with cultural bodies both here and abroad. We look forward to the contribution he will make to the important role that Horsecross plays in the cultural life of our community.

"Meanwhile we wish Gwilym Gibbons all the best in his new job. His legacy at Horsecross is the new Perth Theatre, delivered on time and within budget, and he can be justly proud of his contribution to that achievement."

Mike Griffiths, who will support the Horsecross Arts board as it considers the recruitment of a full time chief executive said:

“I’m delighted to be joining Horsecross at this exciting time and building on the legacy that Gwilym has created during his time here. I’m greatly looking forward to getting to know Perth again and working with the staff to continue to deliver an exciting programme for the audiences in Perth and beyond and I would like to thank our principal funders Perth & Kinross Council and Creative Scotland for their continued support.”